Monday, March 23, 2009


My friend (who is an African) explained to me why he liked Hitler today:

"Well you see, when he killed people, that was bad, but he had an ideology. At least he believed in something. He just shouldn't have been a dictator. Like, he could've done like how they're doing now with the European Union."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Some Words for the New Volunteers Assigned to Come to Benin in July 2009

Alright, you've heard about (or are about to google) the tragedy that we experienced recently and you're hesitant to come to Benin.

That's natural. But consider: there are about 100 volunteers here as I write this, and there will be about 100 next week, next month, and next year. We wouldn't be here if we didn't feel safe.

I am probably the most cowardly person alive. In fact, you might say I have a "chronic anxiety problem coupled with severe paranoia". Yet, I feel perfectly safe here. I do not ever worry about my safety. Ever. Please, if you get blessed with the country assignment, you should absolutely come to Benin.


I would like to thank everyone for not being douchebags and telling me to come home. Seriously. When all the volunteers gathered in a room, we were asked how many of us had been pressured to quit from people back home. About 50% of the volunteers raised their hands. Fortunately, pretty much everyone is ignoring this advice.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Sometime late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning a friend and colleague of mine was murdered.

It would be an understatement to say that everyone here is pretty distressed.

Press release.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On the Record

I'm writing this post just because I want there to be a permanent record on the Internet so that when I tell people "I totally called it" they will be able to verify it having totally been called.

The calling: there will be a cure for all types of human cancer on or before December 31st, 2018.

In other news, it's five in the morning and I haven't gone to sleep yet. I'm hoping that this way when I take the bus in a few hours I'll spend the entire trip to Cotonou completely asleep. I've been passing the time watching TED conference videos.

This video in particular is impressive. Almost as impressive as my ability to predict when cancer will be cured.

Next week the construction of my swamp cooler should be complete. If it works it will probably be one of the proudest moment of my service. But more on that next week.